Key West, Florida is home to more than just bars, beaches and bands. Many people return to learn more about its exciting place in the history and world of art.
With a recorded history that goes back some five hundred years, it should come as no surprise to many people that Key West has a little bit to offer about almost everything. All it takes is going a few steps off of Duval Street, the islands main drag for Key West restaurants, bars and nightlife, to see some of the architecture that has led to an entire neighborhood being placed on the National Registry of Historic Places. Inside these buildings, many which have been repurposed as art galleries, people can see the art that helped make Key West, Florida famous, as well as some of the newest art being created in the Southernmost City. The most popular way to see this art and enjoy the island is the monthly "Walk on White," held every third Thursday, that takes people to some of the most exciting galleries and art spaces on the island.
"So many people only know the recent history of Key West, Florida as a 'party atmosphere' island getaway destination. What they don't know is that for almost one hundred years, it has had an outsized influence on the international world of art for such a small town." Elena Devers is the deputy director of The Studios of Key West, one of the island's most prominent art exhibition spaces and a participant of the monthly art stroll. "The mix of styles, the use of bold colors…all of this began as an expression of the polyglot that is the population."
Many people choose to visit Key West for their island wedding or destination when looking for an island vacation, but it is quickly reestablishing its reputation as an artist's community as well. Thanks to such generous local sponsorship from such long standing businesses like The Roof Top Cafй, the art scene is once again growing and flourishing. With rates being reduced for the summertime and the off season, now is the perfect time to work on both your tan and your art appreciation. Many hotels, resorts and local businesses offer discounts to help entice people to come visit, and it is definitely worth it. Of course, this being Key West, most of the people who take the art stroll do so with a drink in their hand.
Jack Terry is a freelance writer who specializes in travel and lifestyle writing and lived in Key West for several years.